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The Space and Place of Death

ISBN: 978-1-931303-07-1
211 pages
April 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Space and Place of Death (193130307X) cover image

Archaeologists typically study death from the perspective of mortuary patterns, devising classifications of disposal facilities and their dead inhabitants along parameters such as technique and materials of tomb construction, position and orientation of the deceased, and paleobiology of the interred populations. From this information a society's organization and level of sociopolitical complexity is reconstructed. Less common among archaeologists is attention to the spatiality of death practice, the unifying focus of this volume. Archaeologists are concerned with issues such as the siting of mortuary facilities; the interplay of agency and expressive style in the funerary context as these relate to the physical space and taking place of mortuary custom; and the recognition, cultural reconstruction, and explanation of death landscapes. These perspectives provide a more holistic framework for achieving an ethnographically sensitive archaeology of death. The studies in this volume range widely in areal location, cultural and temporal focus, and theoretical approach. As a collection they suggest the importance of landscape and physical context in understanding mortuary rituals.

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Introduction: The Space and Place of Death
Helaine Silverman

Siting, Sighting, and Citing the Dead
Douglas K. Charles and Jane E. Buikstra

Collective Burials and Community Memories: Interpreting the Placement of the Dead in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States with Reference to Ethnographic Cases from Indonesia
Dale L. Hutchinson and Lorraine V. Aragon

Houses and Ancestors, Altars and Relics: Mortuary Patterns at Teotihuacan, Central Mexico
Linda Manzanilla

Body and Soul Among the Maya: Keeping the Spirits in Place
Susan D. Gillespie

Conduits of Ancestry: Interpretation of the Geography, Geology, and Seasonality of North Andean Shaft Tombs
Leon G. Doyon

The Archaeological Study of Ancestor Cult Practices: The Case of Pampa Chica, a Late Initial Period and Early Horizon Site on the Central Coast of Peru
Jalh Dulanto

Situating Sardinia's Giants Tombs in Their Spatial, Social, and Temporal Contexts
Emma Blake

A Landscape of Ancestors: The Space and Place of Death in Iron Age West-Central Europe
Bettina Arnold

Placing the Physical and the Incorporeal Dead: Stonehenge and Changing Concepts of Ancestral Space in Neolithic Britain
Mike Parker Pearson

Rethinking the Historical Dimensions of Mortuary Practices: A Case from Nisky Hill Cemetery, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
David B. Small

Narratives of Identity and History in Modern Cemeteries of Lima, Peru
Helaine Silverman

Spatial Narratives of Death, Memory, and Transcendence
Aubrey Cannon

Afterword--Visible Death: Mortuary Site and Mortuary Landscape in Diachronic Perspective
Lynne Goldstein

List of Contributors

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HELAINE SILVERMAN is Professor of Anthropology, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, LAS Global Studies, and Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies. Her scholarship is in Central Andean archaeology, complex societies, urbanism, architectural and landscape history, spatial theory, heritage theory and management, critical museum studies, tourism, cultural memory, identity, globalization, nationalism, appropriations of the past, cultures of death, and Southeast Asian archaeology and history.

DAVID B. SMALL is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Lehigh University. His research areas are State Formation, Texts and Archaeology , Complex Society, Architecture and Society, Theoretical Approaches in Archaeology, Mediterranean Archaeology, Economic Archaeology, Mortuary Archaeology , Historical Ecology, Heterarchy and Mesoamerican Archaeology.

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